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Comparing the Olympus ZD 50mm F2 vs the Panasonic 45mm F2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by FlyPenFly, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    PL45 advantages:
    Much Faster AF
    2:1 Magnification (on 35mm equivalency)
    Compact and Small
    Possibly better LOCA performance

    Oly 50mm F2 advantages:
    Weather sealed with MMF-3
    1 full aperture faster
    Possibly better bokeh
    100mm is better than 90mm
    Possibly slightly sharper

    Different review sites tend to go back and forth on which one is sharper. My guess is that they're probably pretty close and the Oly ZD might be slightly sharper. I tend to trust the DPReview site more because they have more expertise than say TechRadar or ePhotozine. However if you read Lenstip.com, the PL45 has a significant advantage (they did use an E-510 though for the ZD which is notorious for having a strong AA filter). I have to wonder who is more accurate.

    Right now, I'm leaning heavily on the Olympus solution because of the weather sealing primarily, full aperture stop advantage (useful for portraits), and slightly sharper reputation. The PL45mm though really gets me on the very clean LOCA and AF speed which will probably be very useful. I wonder if perhaps the Oly 50 ZD LOCA might go away as you go to F2.8 or F4.

    I plan to shoot this combo in the rain and snow so the weather sealing would be a big win. Then again I can just cover the PL45 in a plastic bag and it'll be sort of weather sealed as well and offer more useable AF speeds.

    Attached Files:

  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Problem is that both results depend on the body used to test. For example, Lenstip uses the 50/2 on the E-3 and the 45/2.8 on the E-PL1. Even most poor lenses will produce much higher numbers on the E-PL1 than a good lens on the E-3.

    The only test I've seen on the same body (E-M5) is from Lloyd Chambers (subscribers only). He was disappointed with the 50/2 due to lower contrast and found the 45/2.8 sharper. But YMMV.

  3. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    I think Lenstip said they used an e-510 which is well known to have a strong AA filter.
  4. cputeq

    cputeq Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 27, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    I never found the 50mm AF impressive when I had it for my E-5...I can only imagine how bad it would be using adapter and CDAF /shudder.

    It was extremely sharp, a bit low in contrast but I think that's just Oly's neutral lens rendering.

    Frankly, I would just take sharpness out of the equation entirely. You're comparing two macro primes - they'll be plenty sharp enough.
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